One Word. Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?
2010 began as a tumultuous year for me. One career had ended for me and new time in my life had begun. I felt uncertain in my community as malicious and unfounded rumors were swirling around about me and my family. I felt as if I couldn’t trust many. Truthfully, I couldn’t. I retreated inside myself further and further. I didn’t know who I was anymore. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to know who I was anymore.
A time of transition would be almost too cliche for what I experienced in 2010. To be sure, there is a lot of 2010 that I want to forget. There has been a lot of pain and heartache in the past 335 days. A great many tears and my heart broke and shattered. This is the year that I learned that epoch lesson of Man’s cruelty to Man — why? because I experienced first hand in my own community and was the target of it, by people I trusted and people I worked side by side with for the entire duration of my teaching career.
I lived through things I will never quite understand. And yet, I’m beginning to realize that perhaps it is not my purpose to understand the Why of it. And maybe I am not even to accept the What.
Sometimes things just Are.
And so, for 2010 I have come to realize that I will never be who I was before. And though I mourn for her, and I miss her, I am proud to say I have survived. There has been much joy in 2010. I learned to laugh again in 2010. I became a stay-at-home in 2010. I found my joy in cooking again in 2010. I found myself in writing again in 2010. I have shaken off (and am continuing to do so) all the horror from 2010 and am rebuilt myself in 2010.
The word I have chosen for 2010?
Naturally I have chosen: Recycle.
By the end of 2010 I took cast aside material and created something new. Clearly it should be obvious how exhausting this has been. It takes a lot of work to recycle yourself. There were times this past year when it felt like I was completely broken down.
When I try to project myself a year from now, I do so with a great deal of difficulty. I’ve had difficulty doing this for quite some time. For so much of this past year it has been constantly living in just the present time. Essentially, survival living. To suddenly try to think a full year in advance is such a stretch of the imagination I do not think I could do such a thing. I’ve stared at this blinking cursor longer than I care to admit. Only to write a sentence about staring at a blinking cursor.
When forced to do so, however, I suppose the word I would select for the end of 2011 would be:
I do not choose this word out of morbidity. (My husband might think so, and I may be scolded later, so I best finish and publish quickly while he isn’t home.) I select it out of reverence.
I say reverence because I want to always remember how difficult it has been for me to recover from 2010. I want to remember how I survived. I want to remember how I no matter what was said about me and my family, I kept my head up in public. I want to remember that when the dust settled we knew the truth. I want to remember that at the end of the day, when it came to battling windmills or dragons, I fought both because it mattered. Remembrance matters to me, you see, and I don’t want to ever forget that I once had inner strength and resiliency.
2010 was the year for recycling myself.
2011 will be the year for remembrance.